Apr. 7 SVMN Meeting: Healthful Microfinance

Healthful Microfinance

Integrated models to improve clients’ physical and financial health

The next Silicon Valley Microfinance Network (SVMN) meeting will be Tuesday, April 7, 2009 and will feature Lynne Patterson of Pro Mujer, Myka Reinsch of Freedom from Hunger, and Dorothy Largay of the Linked Foundation.


Lynne Patterson Myka Reinsch   Dorothy Largay
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A microfinance client’s health directly affects her ability to run her business and generate revenue, take care of her family and herself, and contribute to her community.  Microfinance institutions (MFIs) have seen illnesses jeopardize or ruin their clients’ work and financial stability and have innovated programs to deliver health insurance, education, and products in addition to their core microfinance services in order to strengthen the poor’s physical as well as financial health.  And when the clients are healthier, so is the financial institution and its revenue streams.  While integrating health into financial services represents a more holistic development approach, MFIs, health providers, and funders must decide which partnership and business models will be most impactful and financially feasible.  Lynne Patterson, C0-Founder and Director of Pro Mujer, and Myka Reinsh, who has led Freedom from Hunger’s Microfinance and Health Protection (MAHP) initiative, will speak about their organizations’ models for delivering both microfinance and health services and how those models have evolved over time.  Dorothy Largay, Founder and CEO of the Linked Foundation, will share a funder’s perspective on supporting collaborative, systemic approaches to improving health and economic development.  



To register, please click on the SVMN registration link here:


When: Tuesday, April 7, 2009

6:00-6:30pm: Registration, Dinner, & Networking
6:30-8:00pm: Speakers & Discussion
8:00-8:30pm: Networking

Where: Intuit headquarters

2535 Garcia Ave, Building 1, Darwin Room
Mountain View, CA 94043
(directions here)


in advance: $20 regular attendee | $10 students & non-profits (w/ ID)
at the door: $30 regular attendee | $20 students & non-profits (w/ ID)
(includes dinner + drinks)


Speaker Bios:

Lynne Patterson, Co-Founder and Director of Pro Mujer

Lynne spent the first part of her career in the United States as a teacher and administrator in the public school systems of New York City and Port Washington, Long Island, promoting educational programs for low income families and children.  In 1990, she moved with her family to Bolivia where she joined forces with Carmen Velasco, a Bolivian professor of psychology, to develop training programs for women receiving donated food. Together they developed an inclusive, comprehensive program to address what the women said were their primary needs. The training programs in business development, child development, health and family planning eventually led to the founding of Pro Mujer, a microfinance and women’s development network that combines financial services with health care and other training programs so that women can build sustainable lives for themselves and their families.  Pro Mujer began in Bolivia in 1991, and has since been successfully expanded and replicated in Nicaragua (1996), Peru (1999), Mexico (2001) and Argentina (2005). Lynne has degrees in Government (B.A., Principia College); Education (M.A., Teachers College, Columbia University); American History (M.A., New York University) and Educational Administration (Ed.D., New York University).


Myka Reinsch, Vice President of Programs of Freedom from Hunger

Myka Reinsch joined Freedom from Hunger in 2004.  She brings over a dozen years of experience in international community and economic development.  Myka oversees Freedom from Hunger’s programs, including initiatives to test out new high-impact poverty alleviation solutions, including microfranchise distribution of health products; savings-led self-help groups for women; and microfinance combined with health financing, provider linkages and health insurance.  Prior to this role, Myka directed the organization’s Gates-funded Microfinance and Health Protection initiative, after spending two years as Senior Technical Advisor, Microfinance.  In these roles, she provided direct technical assistance and training to microfinance institutions around the world.  She has worked in domestic community development lending and consulted to international development clients such as the World Bank/CGAP, Chemonics International, Action for Enterprise, and Associates in Rural Development (ARD).  Myka holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BA in Linguistics from Vassar College.  She speaks French, Thai and Wolof (a Senegalese language).

Dorothy Largay, Founder and CEO of Linked Foundation

Dorothy Largay leads the Linked Foundation in Santa Barbara, California. Linked is a private foundation that promotes and invests in high-impact solutions to alleviate poverty in Latin America with a focus on economic self-reliance and healthcare for women. Prior to starting Linked three years ago, Dorothy was a management consultant specializing in leadership and organizational development. Her career includes 15 years of executive coaching to high-tech and bio-tech companies, serving as the Executive Director at the Santa Clara University’s Executive Development Center, and the Director of Apple University at Apple, Inc. She received her B.A. from Boston College and Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Oregon. Dorothy serves as Vice Chair for the Board of  Direct Relief International, a major humanitarian organization delivering health products to clinics in the US and around the world.


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